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Architosh App Guides

Architosh has published many application (app) guides over the years. In fact, for those readers who have been with us since the site’s founding in 1999, Architosh began as essentially a comprehensive listing of CAD and 3D tools for the Mac OS platform.

Below we have two sets of comprehensive App Guides. One each for each Apple operating platform. One for iOS and one for macOS.

Index to Guides

  • macOS CAD/CAM/AEC App Guides — these new guides are exclusively for architosh INSIDER Membership subscription readers. We have Daily and Weekly access passes for the convenience of software research. Save yourself the time Googling—we have over 140 CAD/CAM/AEC macOS apps, and we are just getting started.
  • macOS 3D App Guides — these new guides are again exclusively for architosh INSIDER Member subscription readers. Consider our Daily or Weekly access passes and discover 3D macOS native apps you didn’t even know existed.
  • Special Ultimate Guides — these are evolving specialized guides around software type or categories, like CDEs (Common Data Environments) in the AEC industry. These specialized publication guides are exclusively for architosh INSIDER Membership subscription readers. We have Daily and Weekly access passes that cost less than your lunch.
  • iOS CAD/3D/AEC App Guides — our Ultimate iPad Guide: Apps for Architects contains over 175 apps for the architectural and AEC professional who wants to utilize the iPad in particular. Many apps work just as well on the iPhone. These guides are a bit older but still invaluable for software research. These apps guides are all open to non-subscribers.

Ultimate List of CAD Applications for the Apple Mac Platform — INSIDER Subscribers Exclusive

INDEX 01: All Mac CAD/CAM Apps—Alphabetical Listing

This is our complete (WIP) listing of all Mac CAD/CAM apps, simply organized in alphabetical order. This is our master list truncated lists are organized below for faster access to specific apps for different industries or CAD platforms.

INDEX 02: CAD: AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction)

The Mac platform has always been popular in architecture circles in particular but increasingly within the overall AEC industry. This list of AEC CAD apps is just one component of what we will eventually have for AEC app list coverage.

INDEX 02: CAD: MCAD (Mechanical Computer-Aided Design)

The MCAD market has traditionally ignored Apple, but things started changing in the late aughts. By 2010 – 2012 major new players like Siemens’ NX (Unigraphics) came to the platform. The strength of the MCAD platform for the macOS platform has grown a lot since, and there are now over 25 native macOS CAD apps meant to tackle MCAD industries.

INDEX 02: CAD: Multi-disciplinary

Multi-disciplinary apps mean CAD apps of a generalist nature or apps broad enough to cover in detail two or more major industry sectors. Nearly all the macOS CAD apps here can address both MCAD sectors and AEC sectors but some less than others.

INDEX 03: ARCHICAD Workflows and Add-Ons

ARCHICAD is the original BIM application and arguably the market leader for BIM innovation for the global architectural community. The veteran BIM application has more than 50 third-party Add-On applications that powerfully extend what ARCHICAD can do.

INDEX 03: Vectorworks Workflows and Add-Ons

Vectorworks is a globally leading BIM/CAD platform and the number one Mac CAD application with over half-million users worldwide. Over 30 plugin and add-on applications powerfully extend Vectorworks workflows.

INDEX 04: 5 Best Native Mac CAD Apps

The best Mac CAD applications offer more than just a great CAD solution. On the macOS platform, they need to reach for their “mac-ness” and translate Apple’s ethos and user-interface design standards into a coherent CAD experience.


Ultimate List of 3D Applications for the Apple Mac Platform — INSIDER Subscribers Exclusive

INDEX 01: All Mac 3D Apps—Alphabetal Listing

This is our complete (WIP) listing of all Mac 3D apps, simply organized in alphabetical order. This our master list and specialized truncated lists are below by category.

INDEX 02: 3D Apps: AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction)

Always popular by architects in particular, this list of 3D apps focuses on native macOS apps that are available for AEC pros. There are 27 native apps in this list.

INDEX 02: 3D Apps: CAID (Computer-aided Industrial Design)

The Mac has surged in the product and industrial design space over the past decade, with numerous new macOS native tools for industrial and product design, complimenting and overlapping the many new MCAD tools

INDEX 02: 3D Apps: Animation, Special Effects (VFX) and Compositing

Due to its close relationship with film and broadcast TV industries, the animation, special effects, and compositing tools available for the Mac platform are quite extensive.


Special Ultimate Lists — INSIDER Subscribers Exclusive

Ultimate List of CDE (Common Data Environment) Apps for Architects

The Mac platform isn’t a minority player in an AEC industry moving to the cloud with the most important new digital platform to affect industry change—the new CDE (common data environment).  This article introduces the reader to 18 different solutions and profiles 5 leaders against key CDE definition criteria.


Ultimate iPad Guide: Apps for Architects 2.0 (Wave 1 Update)

Originally published in 2013 and updated once since that time, Architosh’s Ultimate iPad Guide: Apps for Architects 2.0 is currently under a major wave 2 update and we can’t wait to show it in early 2018. In the meantime, explore the current version below.


To visit the Index Level of the app guide, go here. Or select a specific section in the links below.

Schematic and Development Design Phases: Applicable Lists

Construction Documents Phase: Applicable Lists

Bidding & Negotiation Phase: Applicable Lists

Construction Administration Phase: Applicable Lists

Other High-Value Apps of Use for Architects: Applicable Lists

CAD and BIM Formats on iOS for iPad

One of the most useful things architects may want to know is what CAD and BIM formats are supported on what iPad apps for BIM and CAD viewing. We at Architosh have been working hard to figure this all out. See the article below

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